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The study of ovarian cancer chemoresistance and metastasis through the integrative omics analyses

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

About the Project

Our gynae-oncology research team aims to carry out bench to bedside cancer research. Current areas of basic research concentration on genetic/epigenetic alterations in cancer development and progression, cancer stem cells (CSC), cancer cell metabolism, onco-immunology, interactions between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment in gynaecological malignancies. These studies hope to provide a scientific basis for developing novel diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions for improving treatment outcome of gynaecological cancer patients. Among gynaecological malignancies, epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy worldwide. This disease is generally called the "silent killer" because there are non-specific symptoms, and thus, the majority of patients are found in advanced stages accompanied by extensive metastasis. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms of related metastases may assist in the development of "targeted" oncologic therapies to improve the cure rate of this disease. The cancer metastasis is determined by the priming of the metastatic niche and the intrinsic properties of cancer cells to adapt to the microenvironmental stresses. We have recently established omental conditioned media (OCM) to mimic the tumor microenvironment of peritoneal metastases of ovarian cancer. Through the integrative omics analysis, we have started to understand the novel approach of tumor-stromal interactions in pre-metastatic niche formation, and new targets have been identified in association with chemoresistance and recurrence of ovarian cancers. These studies will provide a scientific basis for developing novel diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions for improving treatment outcome of ovarian cancer patients. We welcome you to join us for the following projects, 1) to identify circulating exosomal miRNAs as a non-invasive biomarker in ovarian cancer; 2) to explore druggable targets in cancer cell metabolism; 3) to delineate the roles of infiltrated immune cells and metabolites in promoting ovarian cancer metastasis.


Dr. David Chan received his PhD from Monash University, Australia, in 2002. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong and The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, as well as the Principal Investigator at The University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Institute of Research and Innovation (HKU-SIRI). He is also a member of International Gynecologic Cancer Society. He is an associate editor or editorial board member of Cancer Medicine, J Ovarian Res., Frontiers Pharmacol, and PlosOne.

Dr. Chan is an accomplished scientist, recognized for his outstanding contributions to the field of exploring molecular targets and delineating molecular mechanisms in the acquired chemoresistance and cancer metastasis of cancer cells. He is interested in using the integrative omics data to decipher signaling pathways of tumor-stromal interaction in metastatic progression of ovarian cancers and exploring druggable targets of ovarian cancers. He has published more than 64 peer-reviewed in leading journals such as Gastroenerology, EMBO J, Clin Cancer Res., Mol. Cancer, Theranostics, and Oncogene etc. receiving an H-index of 28 (Google Scholar).

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Li ZQ, Zhou W, Zhang Y, Sun W, Yung MMH, Sun J, Li J, Chen CW, Li ZZ, Meng YX, Chai J, Zhou Y, Liu SS, Cheung ANY, Ngan HYS, Chan DW*, Zheng W*, and Zhu W*.ERK regulates HIF-1α-mediated platinum resistance by directly targeting PHD2 in ovarian cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. 2019 Oct 1;25(19):5947-5960.
Yung MMH, Tang HWM, Cai PCH, Leung THY, Ngu, SF, Chan, KKL, Xu D, Yang HJ, Ngan HY, and Chan DW* (2018). GRO-α and IL-8 enhance ovarian cancer metastatic potential via the CXCR2-mediated TAK1/NFκB signaling cascade. Theranostics 8(5):1270-1285
Chen KM, Liu MX, Mak CS, Yung MMH, Leung THY, Xu D, Ngu SF, Chan KKL, Yang HJ, Ngan HY*, and Chan DW* (2018). Methylation-associated silencing of miR-193a-3p promotes ovarian cancer aggressiveness via targeting GRB7 and MAPK/ERK pathway. Theranostics 8(2):423-436 (* Co-corresponding author).

Mak CS, Yung MMH, Hui LMN, Leung LL, Liang R, Chen KM, Liu SS, Qin Y, Leung THY, Lee KF, Chan KKL, Ngan HYS, and Chan DW* (2017) MicroRNA-141 enhances anoikis resistance in metastatic progression of ovarian cancer through targeting KLF12/Sp1/survivin axis. Mol Cancer 16(1):1-17.

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